On rural roads, think horse!
Flat, clear, open rural road in Norfolk, national speed limit, learner driver ahead slows down then brakes, not hard, but keeps brakes on to slow the car much more. Traffic isn’t heavy, and the learner has happily been travelling at 50mph, not up to the limit, but an acceptable speed. So why has this driver slowed down?
Well, I would hope most drivers would ask that question, and take a moment or two to look for the reason, before finally deciding it’s safe to overtake. Not so the 2 cars that overtook us today! One can only assume it was the sight of the obvious learner car that caused them both to overtake. One was dangerous enough, but two…? It beggars belief!
So just why did my learner slow down so much, on such a clear road for no obvious reason? Well, further ahead, the learner had spotted 2 horse riders emerging from a junction on the left to cross into the junction on the right. There was a clear warning sign of the crossroads, and this is a rural area, so a moment’s thought from these 2 drivers would have been a sensible thing to do. But no, first one overtook at speed, I would say at the limit of 60mph, an act which horrified us both, but then along came the 2nd, at an even faster speed! Thankfully both horse riders got safely across, but not without one of the horses becoming agitated and difficult for his rider to control!
So please, don’t just think bike, think horses too! Look for the clues – warning signs, horses in the fields, fresh horse manure on the road, the horse rider may be just up ahead, even old horse manure, clearly left there for some time, is a clear indication that horse riders use the road.
But, most importantly, if a driver, any driver, even a learner driver, slows down for no apparent reason on a clear road, then take another look and you may well spot the reason for the driver’s action! Think of the consequences first, before you blindly overtake and drive headlong into disaster.